11,000 researchers gave their views on data sharing, here's what we learned





data sharing, research data, open data, open science, open research, market research


Watch the VIDEO.

Good data sharing can make research more productive, more likely to be cited, and unlock innovation for the good of society. In 2019, a Springer Nature white paper (Lucraft et al. 2019), based on surveys with more than 11,000 researchers internationally, set out key challenges in data management and data sharing.

We found:

  • Data sharing is increasing: more than 64% of researchers in a 2018 survey said they made their data openly available.
  • The majority of researchers see data sharing as important: across three surveys, when asked about the importance of making data discoverable, researchers gave an average rating of 7.5 out of 10.
  • Data sharing and planning is currently suboptimal: The majority of the research community are not yet managing or sharing data in ways that make it findable, accessible or reusable.

Increasingly, funders and other expert groups (European Commission 2018) are emphasising the need for data that is FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and re-useable). To shift the needle on data sharing and to reap the benefits from more widely-available open data, collaborative action is required. In this presentation, we will discuss the five measures we believe are needed to make data sharing the norm:

  1. Clear policy: from funders, institutions, journals/publishers, and research communities themselves.
  2. Better credit: to make data sharing worth a researcher’s time.
  3. Explicit funding: for data management and data sharing, as well as data publishing.
  4. Practical help: for organising data, finding appropriate repositories, and provision of faster, easier routes to share data.
  5. Training and education: to answer common questions from researchers on data sharing and to help build skills and knowledge.

We will draw on evidence and case studies from across Europe and beyond, as well as further feedback from our market research.

Author Biography

Samuel Winthrop, Springer Nature

Samuel Winthrop is a Journal Development Manager within the Research Data team at Springer Nature. Previously he was a Journal Development Editor for BioMed Central.


Lucraft, Mithu, Grace Baynes, Katie Allin, Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, and Varsha Khodiyar. (2019). “Five Essential Factors for Data Sharing”. figshare. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.7807949.v2

European Commission. (2018). Turning FAIR into reality. https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/turning_fair_into_reality_1.pdf